The Big Plays
Why posture when you know the BANHAMMER > you?
OK. So we've got Thomas H. Tuberville on the line at 3. I'm doing this one on the phone. I'll basically do what I did for Franklin -- type it live as best I can.
I went back through the play-by-play during the flights home today. Here are the official Jay G's Six Biggest Plays of The Game:
- Wes Byrum's missed 44-yard FG (third quarter): Auburn actually built a nice little drive there, moved the ball 52 yards. Then Byrum comes in there and shanks one wide left. That would have tied the game. Everything went downhill for the Tigers after that.
- Mario Fannin goes for no gain on 3rd-and-goal from the 1 (first quarter): Gotta have that one. Just gotta. Someone blew that call; either Kodi Burns handed off the wrong direction or Fannin ran the wrong direction. It was a hideously mistimed error.
- Burns stuffed on 3rd-and-2 (second quarter): This was just before half-time. Auburn had moved just beyond mid-field, then asked Burns to convert a short third down with a keeper. He gained only one yard. This was a prime opportunity to build momentum going into the second half.
- Walt McFadden flagged for pass interference on third down (third quarter): It was 3rd-and-4 from the AU 43. The pass wasn't going to be caught and both players were fighting for position. McFadden pushed a bit more, though, and cost his team an important third-down stop. The Mountaineers scored moments later on a field goal -- their first score of the second half.
- Montez Billings loses 7 yards on a reverse (second quarter): Auburn was ahead 17-3 and just recovered an on-side kick. They were trying to seize momentum with a trick play, which I considered a sound strategic decision. I would have attempted something similar in that circumstance. I'm not going to rip Tuberville & Co. for the call, but losing yards provided a significant mental blow. Auburn seemed to lose confidence after that.
- Noel Devine gains 36 yards on the first play an important WVU drive (second quarter): It was a mis-direction pitch of some kind that completely fooled the Tigers. Auburn had gone ahead 10-0 moments earlier and the pressure was on WVU to make something happen. This was it. The play shocked the Tigers' defense and fueled the home team's first scoring drive.
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University
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